The Empathy Gap

Why does Obama still lead Romney in the polls, despite the dismal state of the economy?  Charles Krauthammer says it’s because of the “empathy gap.”  People think Obama seems to have more empathy–more feeling for people, a greater ability to identify with others, especially when they are hurting–than Romney does.  That, in fact, was a major theme of the Democratic Convention, the high point of which was the speech by Bill Clinton, the maestro of empathy.

Obama and the Empathy Gap – Charles Krauthammer – National Review Online.

So is that any way to choose a president?  But isn’t empathy a good quality to have in a ruler?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Ray

    Plain and simple, Romney is just a lousy, uninspiring candidate who will change his views (like on abortion and government-run health care) to suit his audience. Picking Paul Ryan as his running mate helps, but Ryan is not running for president, unfortunately.

  • Ray

    Plain and simple, Romney is just a lousy, uninspiring candidate who will change his views (like on abortion and government-run health care) to suit his audience. Picking Paul Ryan as his running mate helps, but Ryan is not running for president, unfortunately.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There is a difference between having the image of being empathetic and actually being empathetic.

    Also consider that a person’s empathy does not necessarily mean he will advocate policies that actually help people. So the empathetic social worker who authorizes some meager benefit to a person in need is actually less helpful to him than the business owner who hires him and pays him far more than the government can give in charity. Empathy is good, but it may be in the eye of the beholder. The roofing contractor could be said to empathize with my need of a roof repair. He brings materials and labor to fix my roof. Yeah, I pay him, but he could be home feeling sorry for himself that nobody is giving him this or that. Instead he is fixing roofs and hiring labor to help him. So, just projecting an image of empathy is well, pretty useless. It is just image. It does actually improve anyone’s life in any material way.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    There is a difference between having the image of being empathetic and actually being empathetic.

    Also consider that a person’s empathy does not necessarily mean he will advocate policies that actually help people. So the empathetic social worker who authorizes some meager benefit to a person in need is actually less helpful to him than the business owner who hires him and pays him far more than the government can give in charity. Empathy is good, but it may be in the eye of the beholder. The roofing contractor could be said to empathize with my need of a roof repair. He brings materials and labor to fix my roof. Yeah, I pay him, but he could be home feeling sorry for himself that nobody is giving him this or that. Instead he is fixing roofs and hiring labor to help him. So, just projecting an image of empathy is well, pretty useless. It is just image. It does actually improve anyone’s life in any material way.

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    If Romney were a guest in my home, I’d be secretly hoping that he’d leave as soon as possible. Does anyone here feel (not think, but feel) differently? If there’s anyone who gets a warm fuzzy from Romney in the way some of us did from Reagan, and others from Clinton please explain. I can emagine someone supporting his policies, but want him as an advocate? I find it incomprehensible.

  • http://Www.gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    If Romney were a guest in my home, I’d be secretly hoping that he’d leave as soon as possible. Does anyone here feel (not think, but feel) differently? If there’s anyone who gets a warm fuzzy from Romney in the way some of us did from Reagan, and others from Clinton please explain. I can emagine someone supporting his policies, but want him as an advocate? I find it incomprehensible.

  • Trey

    He is winning in the polls though. See Rasmussen. If it isn’t slanted to toward Dems Romney leads. So what Mitt has changed his mind Ray isn’t he allowed to? I wish Ryan was, but he isn’t. Romney is. He isn’t that bad of a fellow. People trash him because he is rich, but this is irrelevant to how he will lead. People just don’t like reality it doesn’t jibe with their behaviors or wants. We have a bunch of babies in our country that would give up freedom for stability.

  • Trey

    He is winning in the polls though. See Rasmussen. If it isn’t slanted to toward Dems Romney leads. So what Mitt has changed his mind Ray isn’t he allowed to? I wish Ryan was, but he isn’t. Romney is. He isn’t that bad of a fellow. People trash him because he is rich, but this is irrelevant to how he will lead. People just don’t like reality it doesn’t jibe with their behaviors or wants. We have a bunch of babies in our country that would give up freedom for stability.

  • #4 Kitty
  • #4 Kitty
  • Bob

    Physicists report a new unit of measurement – one Romney: The energy required to take all possible positions on a given issue.

  • Bob

    Physicists report a new unit of measurement – one Romney: The energy required to take all possible positions on a given issue.

  • Other Gary

    Trey (@4), I think you’re going to find that the Rasmussen poll is the one that’s biased.

  • Other Gary

    Trey (@4), I think you’re going to find that the Rasmussen poll is the one that’s biased.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @5 Judging from tax returns, Romney puts his money where his empathy is. Talk and fist bumps are cheap. Obama is not generous with his own money, so the empathy talk rings hollow. The fact that his campaign publicists can portray Obama as caring, doesn’t mean that he is. Now maybe there are some stories out there about how Obama reached out and personally helped some people, but I don’t recall them. Do you? His empathy image seems like a con job for people who aren’t really astute critical thinkers.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @5 Judging from tax returns, Romney puts his money where his empathy is. Talk and fist bumps are cheap. Obama is not generous with his own money, so the empathy talk rings hollow. The fact that his campaign publicists can portray Obama as caring, doesn’t mean that he is. Now maybe there are some stories out there about how Obama reached out and personally helped some people, but I don’t recall them. Do you? His empathy image seems like a con job for people who aren’t really astute critical thinkers.

  • Jon

    sg, Romney hasn’t released more than a partial year of returns, so you must explain what returns you’ve seen. But you’ve lost me if you mean that folks who give ten percent of their income to a religion that makes such giving an essential mark of membership (in other words, give or be cast out) are more empathetic than one who gives freely.

  • Jon

    sg, Romney hasn’t released more than a partial year of returns, so you must explain what returns you’ve seen. But you’ve lost me if you mean that folks who give ten percent of their income to a religion that makes such giving an essential mark of membership (in other words, give or be cast out) are more empathetic than one who gives freely.

  • Anon

    You haven’t figured it out yet? Most people have.

    It’s a hoot to watch the cons and neocons fight with each other and go into panic mode as the election slips permanently away.

    Keep telling yourselves that it’s Obama’s empathy. What a load. The fact is, the Democrats have actually given voters REASONS why things are as they are and they’ve proposed solutions. The republicans: nah. They have nothing except negativity and nada. That’s about it.

    You can’t win the Presidency on the merits of attacking the incumbent. Yet that’s all the Republicans have to offer.

    Result: November election FAIL for the Repubs.

  • Anon

    You haven’t figured it out yet? Most people have.

    It’s a hoot to watch the cons and neocons fight with each other and go into panic mode as the election slips permanently away.

    Keep telling yourselves that it’s Obama’s empathy. What a load. The fact is, the Democrats have actually given voters REASONS why things are as they are and they’ve proposed solutions. The republicans: nah. They have nothing except negativity and nada. That’s about it.

    You can’t win the Presidency on the merits of attacking the incumbent. Yet that’s all the Republicans have to offer.

    Result: November election FAIL for the Repubs.

  • Anon

    Obama’s chances of winning the Nov. 6 election: 91.8%

    Mittens: 8.2%

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

  • Anon

    Obama’s chances of winning the Nov. 6 election: 91.8%

    Mittens: 8.2%

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

  • Abby

    “. . .maybe there are some stories out there about how Obama reached out and personally helped some people, but I don’t recall them. Do you? His empathy image seems like a con job for people who aren’t really astute critical thinkers. . .”

    Romney also gives from a Foundation of his apart from his giving to his church. For Romney this is a problem of “demeanor” and “persona.” He looks more “executive” than “warm and compassionate.” The RNC attempted to address this and bring out his care for people, but it can’t change the way he “looks” to people. I know pastors and priests who have this problem. There are some more approachable than others. But what does this have to do with performance? Actions speak louder than words.

    Will Obama’s “welfare principles” help our country or continue to hurt it? It has already hurt us and he wants to continue to push us over the brink. It is a continual propagation of welfare recipients taking advantage of the system instead of taking advantage of the educational system for their own independence and prosperity. (Look at the Chicago statistics of illiteracy and graduation from high school. And the teachers do not want to be held accountable. And neither do the parents.)

    Who can handle the economy really? — Obama or Romney — in actual performance. Today Bernanke announced he is going to “print more money” to “stimulate the economy and get more jobs going.” I am not astute in matters of high math and economics, but this made me think — are we playing a board game with fake Monopoly money? Won’t that collapse in the long run?

    We need to take a closer look again at how Germany is doing things economically and for the poor. And what does Angela think of Obama’s course of action? I might be wrong about this, but isn’t Germany one of the most stable in Europe financially? And the people voted her back in. (“According to polls, so do Ms. Merkel’s fellow Germans. They hold tight to their belief, born of staunch Lutheran teachings, that human life cannot thrive in deadbeat towns and profligate lands.”)

    From: http://www.geneveith.com/2012/08/16/lutheran-economics/#comments

    “Consider Luther’s view on charity and the poor. He made the care of the poor an organized, civic obligation by proposing that a common chest be put in every German town; rather than skimp along with the traditional practice of almsgiving to the needy and deserving native poor, Luther proposed that they receive grants, or loans, from the chest. Each recipient would pledge to repay the borrowed amount after a timely recovery and return to self-sufficiency, thereby taking responsibility for both his neighbors and himself. This was love of one’s neighbor through shared civic responsibility, what the Lutherans still call “faith begetting charity.” . . .

    “If Ms. Merkel refuses to support so-called euro bonds, it is not because it would be like giving free money to the undeserving poor but because it would not help the redeemed poor take responsibility for their own houses and grow strong for both themselves and their needy neighbors. He who receives, recovers and profits from society in a time of need has a moral responsibility to pay society back by acting in turn as a strong citizen who can help fill the common chests and sacrifice for his now needy neighbors, who had once helped him. Such is the sacrificial Lutheran society.”

    This is a plan I can believe in.

  • Abby

    “. . .maybe there are some stories out there about how Obama reached out and personally helped some people, but I don’t recall them. Do you? His empathy image seems like a con job for people who aren’t really astute critical thinkers. . .”

    Romney also gives from a Foundation of his apart from his giving to his church. For Romney this is a problem of “demeanor” and “persona.” He looks more “executive” than “warm and compassionate.” The RNC attempted to address this and bring out his care for people, but it can’t change the way he “looks” to people. I know pastors and priests who have this problem. There are some more approachable than others. But what does this have to do with performance? Actions speak louder than words.

    Will Obama’s “welfare principles” help our country or continue to hurt it? It has already hurt us and he wants to continue to push us over the brink. It is a continual propagation of welfare recipients taking advantage of the system instead of taking advantage of the educational system for their own independence and prosperity. (Look at the Chicago statistics of illiteracy and graduation from high school. And the teachers do not want to be held accountable. And neither do the parents.)

    Who can handle the economy really? — Obama or Romney — in actual performance. Today Bernanke announced he is going to “print more money” to “stimulate the economy and get more jobs going.” I am not astute in matters of high math and economics, but this made me think — are we playing a board game with fake Monopoly money? Won’t that collapse in the long run?

    We need to take a closer look again at how Germany is doing things economically and for the poor. And what does Angela think of Obama’s course of action? I might be wrong about this, but isn’t Germany one of the most stable in Europe financially? And the people voted her back in. (“According to polls, so do Ms. Merkel’s fellow Germans. They hold tight to their belief, born of staunch Lutheran teachings, that human life cannot thrive in deadbeat towns and profligate lands.”)

    From: http://www.geneveith.com/2012/08/16/lutheran-economics/#comments

    “Consider Luther’s view on charity and the poor. He made the care of the poor an organized, civic obligation by proposing that a common chest be put in every German town; rather than skimp along with the traditional practice of almsgiving to the needy and deserving native poor, Luther proposed that they receive grants, or loans, from the chest. Each recipient would pledge to repay the borrowed amount after a timely recovery and return to self-sufficiency, thereby taking responsibility for both his neighbors and himself. This was love of one’s neighbor through shared civic responsibility, what the Lutherans still call “faith begetting charity.” . . .

    “If Ms. Merkel refuses to support so-called euro bonds, it is not because it would be like giving free money to the undeserving poor but because it would not help the redeemed poor take responsibility for their own houses and grow strong for both themselves and their needy neighbors. He who receives, recovers and profits from society in a time of need has a moral responsibility to pay society back by acting in turn as a strong citizen who can help fill the common chests and sacrifice for his now needy neighbors, who had once helped him. Such is the sacrificial Lutheran society.”

    This is a plan I can believe in.

  • Jon

    Abby, I think your dog whistle went off accidentally while you were cleaning it. But I like your praise of Germany’s methods; it’s one of the most socialistic countries on the planet with safety nets for its citizens that would cause the average American right winger to gag – or, deep down, wish he had, as he watches his life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.

  • Jon

    Abby, I think your dog whistle went off accidentally while you were cleaning it. But I like your praise of Germany’s methods; it’s one of the most socialistic countries on the planet with safety nets for its citizens that would cause the average American right winger to gag – or, deep down, wish he had, as he watches his life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.

  • Abby

    Jon @13 : I don’t have a dog whistle. :) Were you referring to the Monopoly money?

    ” . . . life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.” I’ve been there — and my husband and I have worked all our lives. And because we have worked there is no government subsidy for us. And neither do I want it.

  • Abby

    Jon @13 : I don’t have a dog whistle. :) Were you referring to the Monopoly money?

    ” . . . life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.” I’ve been there — and my husband and I have worked all our lives. And because we have worked there is no government subsidy for us. And neither do I want it.

  • SKPeterson

    Anon – Exactly what sort of reasons? “We’ve made this mess worse, so we know more about how to clean it up. Trust us.” That reason?

    And you accuse the Republicans of negativity? Did you watch or read transcripts of their convention? Nonstop negativity and blame-slinging.

    Maybe you can win by attacking the incumbent. Maybe not. I figure this nation is screwed whoever wins. Neither side has a credible plan for anything, except to stick their heads further into the sand.

  • SKPeterson

    Anon – Exactly what sort of reasons? “We’ve made this mess worse, so we know more about how to clean it up. Trust us.” That reason?

    And you accuse the Republicans of negativity? Did you watch or read transcripts of their convention? Nonstop negativity and blame-slinging.

    Maybe you can win by attacking the incumbent. Maybe not. I figure this nation is screwed whoever wins. Neither side has a credible plan for anything, except to stick their heads further into the sand.

  • Jon

    I respect that, but why deny it to others? Is there really something honorable about (other people, of course) dying, alone and broke, from a disease that, but for a little cash, would have been easily curable – or preventable? I don’t get the callousness (empathy, not!) of the Repub mind. Sure, choose such a perverse and inhumane fate for yourself, but don’t force it on others.

  • Jon

    I respect that, but why deny it to others? Is there really something honorable about (other people, of course) dying, alone and broke, from a disease that, but for a little cash, would have been easily curable – or preventable? I don’t get the callousness (empathy, not!) of the Repub mind. Sure, choose such a perverse and inhumane fate for yourself, but don’t force it on others.

  • Abby

    Jon @ 16: “choose such a perverse and inhumane fate for yourself, but don’t force it on others” What makes you think I’m choosing a “perverse and inhumane fate for myself”? — When I get really old do you think that Obamacare will authorize a “stent” if I need it for my heart — just to keep going another year or two? They have already said ‘no.’ And actually, I’m wondering what year that will be — 65? 70? 75? etc.? $500 billion is already stripped from Medicare for senior medical care.

  • Abby

    Jon @ 16: “choose such a perverse and inhumane fate for yourself, but don’t force it on others” What makes you think I’m choosing a “perverse and inhumane fate for myself”? — When I get really old do you think that Obamacare will authorize a “stent” if I need it for my heart — just to keep going another year or two? They have already said ‘no.’ And actually, I’m wondering what year that will be — 65? 70? 75? etc.? $500 billion is already stripped from Medicare for senior medical care.

  • Jon

    @17, Abby, Obamacare will prevent an insurance company from throwing you away and capping your benefits. But Johnso- er, Medicare, should provide some solace to you. The seniors in this country will do better, medically. But I love the fact that you’re concerned about ensuring that your share of the government pie is there for you; those who must depend on welfare and food stamps have the same hope.

  • Jon

    @17, Abby, Obamacare will prevent an insurance company from throwing you away and capping your benefits. But Johnso- er, Medicare, should provide some solace to you. The seniors in this country will do better, medically. But I love the fact that you’re concerned about ensuring that your share of the government pie is there for you; those who must depend on welfare and food stamps have the same hope.

  • Abby

    Jon @18: I appreciate your kind responses, but I think you are missing the point.

    “Each recipient would pledge to repay the borrowed amount after a timely recovery and return to self-sufficiency, thereby taking responsibility for both his neighbors and himself.”

    ” . . . those who must depend on welfare and food stamps . . . ” Why “must” they in this country?

  • Abby

    Jon @18: I appreciate your kind responses, but I think you are missing the point.

    “Each recipient would pledge to repay the borrowed amount after a timely recovery and return to self-sufficiency, thereby taking responsibility for both his neighbors and himself.”

    ” . . . those who must depend on welfare and food stamps . . . ” Why “must” they in this country?

  • DonS

    The polls are tied, for all intents and purposes. Most are within the margin of error, after the temporary Obama bounce coming out of the DNC convention. Moreover, a lot of the pollsters are still assuming 2008 turnout numbers when norming their raw results, even though it is hard to see how Obama is going to generate that kind of turnout advantage in 2012, between the fact that Democratic voters are less excited than in 2008, and Republican voters are more so. Independents in most polls also seem to be leaning substantially toward Romney this year, meaning that if D/R turnout is close, Romney will win.

    The cake is cooked for Obama. He has the voters he has, probably about 44-45% or so of those that will vote on election day. Romney has a base of about the same number. The rest are persuadable, meaning that there is probably little or nothing that Obama can do now to win them from Romney. Rather, the question is whether Romney can win them from Obama. He needs to convince them that he is suited to the job of president, whatever that means to each of them. That is what the rest of this campaign will be about.

    The polls will remain roughly deadlocked until the last week or so, when the polling companies fine tune their turnout models and get serious about predicting election results. Those last polls are the ones that people will remember, and judge the various polling companies on in future elections.

    By the way, to those who readily dismiss Rasmussen, they have been one of the best at predicting election outcomes for the past several elections. Google it.

  • DonS

    The polls are tied, for all intents and purposes. Most are within the margin of error, after the temporary Obama bounce coming out of the DNC convention. Moreover, a lot of the pollsters are still assuming 2008 turnout numbers when norming their raw results, even though it is hard to see how Obama is going to generate that kind of turnout advantage in 2012, between the fact that Democratic voters are less excited than in 2008, and Republican voters are more so. Independents in most polls also seem to be leaning substantially toward Romney this year, meaning that if D/R turnout is close, Romney will win.

    The cake is cooked for Obama. He has the voters he has, probably about 44-45% or so of those that will vote on election day. Romney has a base of about the same number. The rest are persuadable, meaning that there is probably little or nothing that Obama can do now to win them from Romney. Rather, the question is whether Romney can win them from Obama. He needs to convince them that he is suited to the job of president, whatever that means to each of them. That is what the rest of this campaign will be about.

    The polls will remain roughly deadlocked until the last week or so, when the polling companies fine tune their turnout models and get serious about predicting election results. Those last polls are the ones that people will remember, and judge the various polling companies on in future elections.

    By the way, to those who readily dismiss Rasmussen, they have been one of the best at predicting election outcomes for the past several elections. Google it.

  • Jon

    Abby,@19, well, what if those who have pledged to pay back the borrowed amount, cannot? Or don’t make a timely recovery and return to self sufficiency?

    “Why ‘must’ they in this country?” A profound and disturbing question. Because bad things happen to good people, but mainly because opportunities to do better are, for many, simply not there. I’ve been around too many poor people to ever blame them for it. Who really wants to be poor? Who wants their children to grow up in poverty? But it happens. We worship wealth in this country and shame the poor. My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. Feel shame for the rich whose policies cause such circumstances.

  • Jon

    Abby,@19, well, what if those who have pledged to pay back the borrowed amount, cannot? Or don’t make a timely recovery and return to self sufficiency?

    “Why ‘must’ they in this country?” A profound and disturbing question. Because bad things happen to good people, but mainly because opportunities to do better are, for many, simply not there. I’ve been around too many poor people to ever blame them for it. Who really wants to be poor? Who wants their children to grow up in poverty? But it happens. We worship wealth in this country and shame the poor. My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. Feel shame for the rich whose policies cause such circumstances.

  • Jon

    DonS, the way to assess polls in a presidential year is to look chiefly at those in the battleground states, not nationally. In those key states, Obama is ahead. Romney is falling behind. Which is why he is likely to lose, as was noted @11.

  • Jon

    DonS, the way to assess polls in a presidential year is to look chiefly at those in the battleground states, not nationally. In those key states, Obama is ahead. Romney is falling behind. Which is why he is likely to lose, as was noted @11.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 22: You are correct that the results of the election in battleground states, rather than the country as a whole, will determine the election. But, in September, just looking at battleground state polls is not “the way” to assess the state of the race.

    The problem with state polls is they generally have a small sample size, the results lag national tracking polls, and they are conducted, oftentimes, by less reputable polling outfits which apply incorrect voter screens. They are indicative, in the aggregate, but not determinative. Moreover, the national vote still almost always mirrors the election results, the only exception being the anomalous 2000 election, which was so close that polling was worthless, essentially, in determining results. Particularly when we are assessing the state of the race in September, it is safe to assume that the national polling results will mirror the outcome.

  • DonS

    Jon @ 22: You are correct that the results of the election in battleground states, rather than the country as a whole, will determine the election. But, in September, just looking at battleground state polls is not “the way” to assess the state of the race.

    The problem with state polls is they generally have a small sample size, the results lag national tracking polls, and they are conducted, oftentimes, by less reputable polling outfits which apply incorrect voter screens. They are indicative, in the aggregate, but not determinative. Moreover, the national vote still almost always mirrors the election results, the only exception being the anomalous 2000 election, which was so close that polling was worthless, essentially, in determining results. Particularly when we are assessing the state of the race in September, it is safe to assume that the national polling results will mirror the outcome.

  • DonS

    I should have added, @ 23, that the national polling results, in the aggregate will mirror the outcome if the election were held today.

  • DonS

    I should have added, @ 23, that the national polling results, in the aggregate will mirror the outcome if the election were held today.

  • Mary

    Here is a link that lists the top pollsters for the 2008 presidential elections. Rasmussen was #1 , Pew #2

    http://www.fordham.edu/images/academics/graduate_schools/gsas/elections_and_campaign_/poll%20accuracy%20in%20the%202008%20presidential%20election.pdf

  • Mary

    Here is a link that lists the top pollsters for the 2008 presidential elections. Rasmussen was #1 , Pew #2

    http://www.fordham.edu/images/academics/graduate_schools/gsas/elections_and_campaign_/poll%20accuracy%20in%20the%202008%20presidential%20election.pdf

  • Abby

    Jon @21: “My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. . .”—I never would. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.”

    However, I have several extended family members who are poor, who continually seek to find ways to “scam” the system.

    Then I have a son who had a severe mental breakdown and was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. For 10 years we have been battling this through many hospitals and government run agencies. Finally I specifically moved to a city with an excellent Christian-based mental health hospital. Early on he was put on Social Security disabilty. He could have continued to live on that and stay home for the rest of his life — and do nothing.

    But he felt dishonored on the Social Security disability. He worked very hard with this new hospital and Drs and social workers. They ended up hiring him. He has now graduated from 2 higher education programs to give him 2 new jobs at the facility. He is now helping and working for and being an example for other patients. But it took very hard work and concentration for him to accomplish this. And I admire him immensely.

    He is paying taxes and now “giving back.” I am around a lot of poor people too. I can see the difference in “attitude.”

  • Abby

    Jon @21: “My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. . .”—I never would. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.”

    However, I have several extended family members who are poor, who continually seek to find ways to “scam” the system.

    Then I have a son who had a severe mental breakdown and was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. For 10 years we have been battling this through many hospitals and government run agencies. Finally I specifically moved to a city with an excellent Christian-based mental health hospital. Early on he was put on Social Security disabilty. He could have continued to live on that and stay home for the rest of his life — and do nothing.

    But he felt dishonored on the Social Security disability. He worked very hard with this new hospital and Drs and social workers. They ended up hiring him. He has now graduated from 2 higher education programs to give him 2 new jobs at the facility. He is now helping and working for and being an example for other patients. But it took very hard work and concentration for him to accomplish this. And I admire him immensely.

    He is paying taxes and now “giving back.” I am around a lot of poor people too. I can see the difference in “attitude.”

  • Abby

    Last week I attended a graduation ceremony for one of his programs. It was a large graduating class. Several people shared their stories. All have come “back” like my son. All are now ready and willing to help others. All have jobs and are “giving back.” In fact, the certification for this program depends on the individual having a job. And the certification for this comes from the State Community Mental Health program. I was very proud of all of them, and of the State for a program such as this.

  • Abby

    Last week I attended a graduation ceremony for one of his programs. It was a large graduating class. Several people shared their stories. All have come “back” like my son. All are now ready and willing to help others. All have jobs and are “giving back.” In fact, the certification for this program depends on the individual having a job. And the certification for this comes from the State Community Mental Health program. I was very proud of all of them, and of the State for a program such as this.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. Feel shame for the rich whose policies cause such circumstances.

    Um, no. The rich do not cause illegitimacy which is the biggest correlate to poverty. Only 6% of children whose parents are married are poor. While almost 50% of all children are poor, at least in my state. Bad behavior drives poverty. No one begrudges helping those who need it. The problem is those who want it and cause their own problems. Even people making minimum wage can get by having roommates or getting married. Dysfunction drives poverty.

    Just to be clear. I don’t begrudge the children food. I begrudge the parents for their irresponsible lifestyle. They are the abusers not uninvolved rich people who had nothing to do with the sex lives of others.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My god, my god, don’t begrude a woman the food stamps to feed her children. Feel shame for the rich whose policies cause such circumstances.

    Um, no. The rich do not cause illegitimacy which is the biggest correlate to poverty. Only 6% of children whose parents are married are poor. While almost 50% of all children are poor, at least in my state. Bad behavior drives poverty. No one begrudges helping those who need it. The problem is those who want it and cause their own problems. Even people making minimum wage can get by having roommates or getting married. Dysfunction drives poverty.

    Just to be clear. I don’t begrudge the children food. I begrudge the parents for their irresponsible lifestyle. They are the abusers not uninvolved rich people who had nothing to do with the sex lives of others.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” . . . life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.”

    You know your life is good and secure when you those are the worst fates you can come up with. The terror of living in less luxury!!

    Don’t want college tuition bills? Don’t go to college. There are plenty of other honorable trades that don’t require college. Don’t want medical bills? Skip the treatments. They won’t force you to receive life saving treatments. You can die or suffer for free. Why should other people value your life, health and comfort more than you do? If you aren’t willing to spend your own money to save your own life, why should the rest of us pay for you? Nurses and doctors have to be paid too. Why do we not want to pay them for what they do? There are plenty of people in the world who would be thrilled to get first class treatment and the worst thing that would happen would that they would have to pay for it. Why do we only want to pay for luxuries and think all things necessary should be provided?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” . . . life’s savings destroyed by medical bills and college tuition.”

    You know your life is good and secure when you those are the worst fates you can come up with. The terror of living in less luxury!!

    Don’t want college tuition bills? Don’t go to college. There are plenty of other honorable trades that don’t require college. Don’t want medical bills? Skip the treatments. They won’t force you to receive life saving treatments. You can die or suffer for free. Why should other people value your life, health and comfort more than you do? If you aren’t willing to spend your own money to save your own life, why should the rest of us pay for you? Nurses and doctors have to be paid too. Why do we not want to pay them for what they do? There are plenty of people in the world who would be thrilled to get first class treatment and the worst thing that would happen would that they would have to pay for it. Why do we only want to pay for luxuries and think all things necessary should be provided?

  • Hal

    although they are both portrayed as ideologues by their detractors, Obama and Romney are both pragmatists. The real Romney is probably the 90′s Romney, the Romney that supported abortion and was much more socially liberal. His reason back then for supporting abortion was that he says he had a cousin who died from an illegal abortion. So this pro-life transformation appears to be entirely for political reasons. So Romney is playing the ideologue during the campaign for pragmatic reasons; it’s his means to an end to become President. So since he can’t be himself its hard for people to relate to him. He comes off as phony and lacking empathy. His comments like “i like firing people” etc fit into this narrative even though those comments were taken out of context. People remember the so called gaffe.

    Romney is coming off as more and more unlikeable as we get closer to the election. His comment that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east was so over the top and dare i say borderline seditious? Americans want the country to rally around the flag when tragedies like this happen.

  • Hal

    although they are both portrayed as ideologues by their detractors, Obama and Romney are both pragmatists. The real Romney is probably the 90′s Romney, the Romney that supported abortion and was much more socially liberal. His reason back then for supporting abortion was that he says he had a cousin who died from an illegal abortion. So this pro-life transformation appears to be entirely for political reasons. So Romney is playing the ideologue during the campaign for pragmatic reasons; it’s his means to an end to become President. So since he can’t be himself its hard for people to relate to him. He comes off as phony and lacking empathy. His comments like “i like firing people” etc fit into this narrative even though those comments were taken out of context. People remember the so called gaffe.

    Romney is coming off as more and more unlikeable as we get closer to the election. His comment that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east was so over the top and dare i say borderline seditious? Americans want the country to rally around the flag when tragedies like this happen.

  • Fws

    Its not the popular vote that matters it is the electoral college. Obama seems to have a distinct edge there.

    So what if the polls are tied. Romney does not have a clear path to electoral college victory. Obama seems to have a far better chance there.

  • Fws

    Its not the popular vote that matters it is the electoral college. Obama seems to have a distinct edge there.

    So what if the polls are tied. Romney does not have a clear path to electoral college victory. Obama seems to have a far better chance there.

  • DonS

    Wow, Hal @ 30, that’s an interesting analysis. A little one-sided perhaps — you started out claiming that both Obama and Romney are pragmatists, but never bothered to explain anything further about Obama. Left me hanging on that one.

    As for Romney, how is he a pragmatist? If he supports abortion because “he had a cousin who died from an illegal abortion” (cite please), then wouldn’t that make him a ideologue? Being phony is not pragmatic, it’s, well, phony.

    “Romney is coming off as more and more unlikeable as we get closer to the election” — cite please? The polls aren’t showing what you’re saying.

    His comment that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east was so over the top and dare i say borderline seditious?

    Huh? In what comment did Romney say anything like “Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east”? Hal, you’re just makin’ stuff up, now.

  • DonS

    Wow, Hal @ 30, that’s an interesting analysis. A little one-sided perhaps — you started out claiming that both Obama and Romney are pragmatists, but never bothered to explain anything further about Obama. Left me hanging on that one.

    As for Romney, how is he a pragmatist? If he supports abortion because “he had a cousin who died from an illegal abortion” (cite please), then wouldn’t that make him a ideologue? Being phony is not pragmatic, it’s, well, phony.

    “Romney is coming off as more and more unlikeable as we get closer to the election” — cite please? The polls aren’t showing what you’re saying.

    His comment that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east was so over the top and dare i say borderline seditious?

    Huh? In what comment did Romney say anything like “Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east”? Hal, you’re just makin’ stuff up, now.

  • Rose

    Women with illegitimate children should not be able to vote.
    They are voters looking for a husband in the President.

  • Rose

    Women with illegitimate children should not be able to vote.
    They are voters looking for a husband in the President.

  • Michael B.

    @sg@28

    “I don’t begrudge the children food”

    Then aren’t you being a liberal? Right now, the government is saying these kids have a right to food, shelter, and even an education at tax-payers expense. Do you agree with that? Or should the government refuse to pay, and make them seek out private charity? In other words if there are mothers and kids starving on the streets because they can’t find private charity, the government should not aid them with taxpayer money? We can talk forever about who or what is at fault, but do the kids get government aid or don’t they?

  • Michael B.

    @sg@28

    “I don’t begrudge the children food”

    Then aren’t you being a liberal? Right now, the government is saying these kids have a right to food, shelter, and even an education at tax-payers expense. Do you agree with that? Or should the government refuse to pay, and make them seek out private charity? In other words if there are mothers and kids starving on the streets because they can’t find private charity, the government should not aid them with taxpayer money? We can talk forever about who or what is at fault, but do the kids get government aid or don’t they?

  • Hal

    @DonS

    maybe i’m stretching the meaning of pragmatism but his flips on abortion seem to be political not because of principles. If his cousins death by an illegal abortion is what made him pro-choice as he said in 1994, then wouldn’t that event still lead him to a principled pro-choice stance? Instead he is now pro-life and i guess has forgotten all about his former reason for being pro-choice. Here is the video of Romney saying he became pro-choice because of his cousins’s botched illegal abortion:
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/08/reason-why-mitt-romney-was-once-pro-choice/40949/

    Romney’s statement that released on 9/11/12 after it was reported that Egypt and Libya were being attacked by protestors:
    “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-morning-plum-gop-claims-obama-sympathizes-with-attackers/2012/09/12/899c3a92-fcc3-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html (or if you want another source just google it)

    Reince Priebus echoed Romney’s comments.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/09/12/rnc-chair-obama-sympathizes-with-attackers/

    Now compare this to when during the 1980 election when Jimmy Carter botched the hostage crisis in Iran with a failed helicopter rescue.
    Reagan’s response: “This is the time for us as a nation and a people to stand united and to pray”
    George H. W Bush: “I unequivocally support the president of the United States — no ifs, ands or buts — and it certainly is not a time to try to go one-up politically. He made a difficult, courageous decision.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/romneys-embassy-attack-response-in-2012-a-far-cry-from-reagan-in-1980/262298/

    about likeability polls. I was wrong about that. Obama’s likeability over Romney has consistently stayed about the same which is about 25 pts higher.

  • Hal

    @DonS

    maybe i’m stretching the meaning of pragmatism but his flips on abortion seem to be political not because of principles. If his cousins death by an illegal abortion is what made him pro-choice as he said in 1994, then wouldn’t that event still lead him to a principled pro-choice stance? Instead he is now pro-life and i guess has forgotten all about his former reason for being pro-choice. Here is the video of Romney saying he became pro-choice because of his cousins’s botched illegal abortion:
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/08/reason-why-mitt-romney-was-once-pro-choice/40949/

    Romney’s statement that released on 9/11/12 after it was reported that Egypt and Libya were being attacked by protestors:
    “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-morning-plum-gop-claims-obama-sympathizes-with-attackers/2012/09/12/899c3a92-fcc3-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html (or if you want another source just google it)

    Reince Priebus echoed Romney’s comments.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/09/12/rnc-chair-obama-sympathizes-with-attackers/

    Now compare this to when during the 1980 election when Jimmy Carter botched the hostage crisis in Iran with a failed helicopter rescue.
    Reagan’s response: “This is the time for us as a nation and a people to stand united and to pray”
    George H. W Bush: “I unequivocally support the president of the United States — no ifs, ands or buts — and it certainly is not a time to try to go one-up politically. He made a difficult, courageous decision.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/romneys-embassy-attack-response-in-2012-a-far-cry-from-reagan-in-1980/262298/

    about likeability polls. I was wrong about that. Obama’s likeability over Romney has consistently stayed about the same which is about 25 pts higher.

  • helen

    Kitty, If Romney paid for that shine, which worker is better off?

    [Not that he necessarily did pay.]

  • helen

    Kitty, If Romney paid for that shine, which worker is better off?

    [Not that he necessarily did pay.]

  • DonS

    Hal @ 35: You still seem to be having a little trouble with balance — how is Obama “pragmatic”, as you say? I’ll help you with some balance below.

    No one disputes the fact that Romney asserted that he was “pro-choice” in earlier years. However, he has changed his views over the years. Now, you say, as do others of his opponents, that this is only for the purpose of political campaigning, and he must still be secretly pro-choice, because “wouldn’t that event (death of his relative because of a botched illegal abortion) still lead him to a principled pro-choice stance? ” I say, how do you know? Maybe, as he’s grown and matured, he now realizes that the life of that precious unborn baby is of the highest importance, and there are other ways, short of maintaining the fiction of a fundamental constitutional right to kill unborn babies, to protect women so desperate as to submit their bodies to the evils of a lawless abortionist.

    Let me help you with your analysis of the “pragmatism” of President Obama. Here is President Obama’s view on gay marriage during the 2008 campaign, yes, just four short years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6K9dS9wl7U Yes, at that time, he insisted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and that it was up to the states to decide otherwise. Yet, just a few months ago, he did a 180 on this issue, telling Robin Roberts of ABC that his views were “evolving” and he now believes that gay marriage should be legally recognized. Now, was this a “flip” of positions for political reasons?

  • DonS

    Hal @ 35: You still seem to be having a little trouble with balance — how is Obama “pragmatic”, as you say? I’ll help you with some balance below.

    No one disputes the fact that Romney asserted that he was “pro-choice” in earlier years. However, he has changed his views over the years. Now, you say, as do others of his opponents, that this is only for the purpose of political campaigning, and he must still be secretly pro-choice, because “wouldn’t that event (death of his relative because of a botched illegal abortion) still lead him to a principled pro-choice stance? ” I say, how do you know? Maybe, as he’s grown and matured, he now realizes that the life of that precious unborn baby is of the highest importance, and there are other ways, short of maintaining the fiction of a fundamental constitutional right to kill unborn babies, to protect women so desperate as to submit their bodies to the evils of a lawless abortionist.

    Let me help you with your analysis of the “pragmatism” of President Obama. Here is President Obama’s view on gay marriage during the 2008 campaign, yes, just four short years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6K9dS9wl7U Yes, at that time, he insisted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and that it was up to the states to decide otherwise. Yet, just a few months ago, he did a 180 on this issue, telling Robin Roberts of ABC that his views were “evolving” and he now believes that gay marriage should be legally recognized. Now, was this a “flip” of positions for political reasons?

  • DonS

    Hal @ 37: I broke up my response into multiple posts. As for Romney’s statement, you know full well that he did not say that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east. He said that it was disgraceful that the first response of the embassy (and thus, the Obama Administration) was not to condemn the attacks, but to sympathize with the attackers. That is a big difference, taken in the context of the entire statement. Now, there are some questions about timing (i.e. that the embassy statement may have been issued before attacks, although it was reiterated afterward), but there is no question that the Obama administration’s focus has been on the filmmaker, rather than the attackers. And there is increasing doubt that the film had anything to do with the attacks in any event.

    Comparing 1980 t0 now is apples to oranges. In 1980 scores of Americans were being held hostage in Iran. Of course, Reagan didn’t want to say anything that would contribute to their possible death or mistreatment. However, certainly, no such restraint was shown by Kerry in 2004 or Obama in 2008, when hot wars were raging in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Romney stepped in with a statement correcting a horribly erroneous embassy statement that, for some reason, the administration was unwilling or unable to correct until some 16 hours later. I can’t blame him for that. And, understand that the Obama administration has now, belatedly, walked back and repudiated that very same embassy statement.

  • DonS

    Hal @ 37: I broke up my response into multiple posts. As for Romney’s statement, you know full well that he did not say that Obama sympathizes with the attackers in the middle east. He said that it was disgraceful that the first response of the embassy (and thus, the Obama Administration) was not to condemn the attacks, but to sympathize with the attackers. That is a big difference, taken in the context of the entire statement. Now, there are some questions about timing (i.e. that the embassy statement may have been issued before attacks, although it was reiterated afterward), but there is no question that the Obama administration’s focus has been on the filmmaker, rather than the attackers. And there is increasing doubt that the film had anything to do with the attacks in any event.

    Comparing 1980 t0 now is apples to oranges. In 1980 scores of Americans were being held hostage in Iran. Of course, Reagan didn’t want to say anything that would contribute to their possible death or mistreatment. However, certainly, no such restraint was shown by Kerry in 2004 or Obama in 2008, when hot wars were raging in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Romney stepped in with a statement correcting a horribly erroneous embassy statement that, for some reason, the administration was unwilling or unable to correct until some 16 hours later. I can’t blame him for that. And, understand that the Obama administration has now, belatedly, walked back and repudiated that very same embassy statement.


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